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The rule of the game is, if you want to be the best, you have to use the best. A contest like the CMP Service rifle contest is not an event that you walk into with low-grade equipment. You have to go for something that will deliver on all fronts.
Today’s piece will be a review of some of the best CMP Service rifle scopes currently being offered. We believe these should be your go-to scopes, if the ultimate goal is to prove you’ve mastered all the principles that define a marksman.
Are you ready to pick a scope that will get you to that finish line, and ultimately win you the trophy?
|Best Overall||Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope||
|Best Value||Sniper NT1-4X28 Scope||
|Premium Choice||Burris Veracity 4-20x50mm Rifle Scope||
|Mueller Speed Shot Rifle Scope||
|Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5x24 Riflescope||
Just describing the Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope’s optical system as “advanced,” is a grave injustice. Ever heard of Quantum Optics? It’s a branch of optical, molecular, and atomic physics that mainly explains how different quanta of light, aka photons, keep interacting with molecules and various atoms. The Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope is the brainchild of that optical system, and that’s why it’s hands down a badass scope.
Its lenses deliver a 92 percent light transmission rate, seeing as they all have four different coatings meant to enhance performance and durability. The first useful coating is the anti-reflective coating. It’s tasked with eliminating light reflections and thus ensures users get perfect, clear views.
The anti-fogging coating was also a nice addition. Just think of the number of times you’ve had to deal with fogging, the minute the temperatures start rising. The frustration is unfathomable, especially if your day sucked right from the start.
Next on the list is the scratch-resistant coating. Scratches are just as bad as fog and maybe even worse considering you can’t wipe them off. The guys working behind the scenes, in the Leupold R&D department, understood just how irritating those scratches are. They knew the only way to deal with those things was to sprinkle a few coatings onto the lenses. So even if you inadvertently drop it to the ground or hit it on a tree, the scope will never look bruised.
Last but not least, we have the ultraviolet protective coating. Those UV rays from the sun aren’t just harmful to your skin, pal. If the statistics are anything to go by, they’re also notorious for causing different eye conditions. Be thankful Leupold did their homework.
“Can the construction be relied on?”
Absolutely. The Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope tube is all 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum. A material that’s not only lightweight but also incredibly strong. And you can tell just by feeling it. Try hitting a wall and you’ll see a crack. Hit a car and the dent will force you to call a mechanic.
The fact that it’s light is quite honestly important because you want to work with a scope that guarantees precision and accuracy. Or how else are you going to concentrate on shooting when your attention is constantly being drawn to the discomfort caused by an unaligned and annoying heavy optic?
Is the 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum the only reason why the tube looks exceedingly durable and tough?
Yes and No. We’re saying ‘Yes’ because the aluminum does play a part in that durability. But we can’t discredit the hard-anodized finish. When a material goes through some cold and special type of electrolytes with the intention of increasing its strength, we say it’s been hard-anodized.
That together with the low-glare matte external finish make certain that the optic’s lenses are well guarded from external pressure, and the shooter’s position is always hidden even in adverse conditions.
Speaking of adverse conditions, the Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope is 100% waterproof. So if by any chance you’ve been wondering whether it will be able to withstand the different weather conditions that guys are normally exposed to during their pre-deployment training program, the answer is Yes.
We would be remiss to finish off this review without talking about the Leupold Twilight management system. And don’t pretend you haven’t heard about it because it’s been the one feature that has defined this brand for several years now.
The Twilight Management System is a light management innovation meant to boost the optic’s clarity, color, and brightness. It really comes in handy in ambient light conditions, because it knows how to balance light across the spectrum. Quite frankly, this is the reason why shooters using the scope always seem well poised when acquiring, and shooting targets in diminished light.
We also fell in love with the Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope’s Pig-Plex reticle. For the record, it’s not the original version, but a simplified one. Contingent upon ammunition, it has holdover points out to 600 yards, and can make use of the 200 or 300 yard zero.
“What’s a zoom ratio?”
The zoom ratio, also known as erector ratio, is a phrase traditionally used to give a description of the magnification range of any rifle scope. In the case of the Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope, it has a zoom ratio of 3:1, meaning it’s capable of handling virtually any situation.
Our one and only issue that we had with the scope was the size of the objective lens. Everybody knows the primary function of an objective lens is to gather light. And the bigger the diameter, the more light is admitted. A fact that in turn, influences the size of the exit pupil and image quality. So, the question that we’re still asking ourselves is, why didn’t they just work with the standard diameter?
They probably have a reason. Let’s hope they do. In the meantime, we’ll keep marveling at this beauty, and enjoy the ¼ MOA finger click windage and elevation precision adjustments that provide out-and-out dependability and repeatability over the duration of extreme use.
Walk into a pre-deployment training camp today, and ask which rifle scope is the best scope for a CMP service rifle for the money. Nearly all of them will recommend this optic. It certainly is the best scope for anyone working with a tight budget.
By now, you should know magnification is an important feature on a scope. Sniper understands this, and that’s why they designed a scope with a 1-4x magnification power. Some would say that’s a pretty small range, but we think it’s perfect for a tactical rifle. Contrary to popular belief, a high magnification is not always good magnification. It only results in a smaller than usual field of view, and that’s not something desirable especially in a tactical situation.
For instance, let’s assume you have a scope that offers a 10x magnification. You’ll without a shadow of a doubt be able to see everything there is to see on an image, but at a cost. If the target is a moving target, capturing that image will obviously be a problem.
The Sniper NT1-4X28 Scope’s 28mm objective diameter is not all that bad considering the Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope is working with a 20, but we still insist on brands improving this size to at least 32 mm. That’s what the industry considers to be standard, given the ultimate goal is usually to enhance image clarity.
And by the way, its lenses are also multicoated. The reticle illumination is red and green. Some people think this feature is all bells and whistles but it really isn’t. Illuminating the reticle makes it visible during the day, especially if the sun is too bright, and the red-green color options provide versatility.
The 4.5-5 eye relief is yet another awesome feature. You won’t have to hunch up to the rifle just to get a clear field of view. And if that’s what you’re doing, you’re using it wrong.
The wind and elevation adjustments are well taken care of by the QTA turrets with precise 1/2 MOA click value, and the lens will be protected by the caps found in the package.
The only downside has to do with the fact that images created at 4x are not as clear as those produced by the 1x zoom power. That’s what kept it from the top spot.
Do you see those numbers up there? They’re trying to tell you something. And that thing is the type of scope that you’ll be working with, its magnification range, and more importantly, the objective lens diameter.
First off, that magnification range is remarkable. Most scopes of this caliber only offer up to 10x, but the Burris Veracity 4-20x50mm Rifle Scope decided to be generous. Being a variable scope, it offers a 4x power at a minimum and a 20-power zoom at a maximum. It’s the reason why long-range shooters and hunters prefer working with it over other optics on the market.
That 50mm objective lens diameter is to die for. And you’d know if you’ve ever found yourself hunting or just shooting targets in low light conditions. Let’s just rephrase it this way; if we had to go with an objective lens’ diameter alone when choosing a good rifle scope, we would always go the direction of the Burris Veracity 4-20x50mm Rifle Scope. We’re not playing favorites, but stating the hard truth.
Unfortunately, there’s a ‘but’ that we have to talk about. The Burris Veracity 50mm-objective lens diameter is great for light transmission, but it will significantly influence the weight and overall size of the device. And that creates a ripple effect because if these variables change, the effects eventually trickle down to the rifle. They in turn affect the weight of the weapon, and comfortability. Furthermore, the rings required to mount it on the rifle will have to be special as well. Bigger than usual. Maybe even 30mm.
The type of reticle featured in the Burris Veracity 4-20x50mm Rifle Scope is the Varmint reticle. And yes, that’s your classic fine crosshair. However, what makes it so unique is the fine subtended holds. They were added into it just to see to it that the guy viewing targets using the scope can quickly determine bullet drop at varying distances.
We would like to add the Burris Veracity 4-20x50mm Rifle Scope is a first focal plane (FFP) optic. Therefore, your shot calculations will be pretty easy, given that the sub-tensions aren’t designed to change in size at different zoom settings.
“What about the target turrets?”
We loved them. Making windage and elevation adjustments felt like an absolute breeze, and they moved in ¼ Minute of Angle increments. We were also keen to notice that unlike other scopes, this one came with a physical zero-stop feature that makes going back to the base zero position, trouble-free.
Burris has a quality control department that works 24/7 to ensure no product released into the market is substandard. And you can always return the scope if it’s defective in any way because you’ll be provided with a lifetime warranty. The other good thing about this warranty is, should you decide to gift the scope to a different user, they’ll too enjoy the perks that come with it.
“But if it’s as good as you guys say, why’s it out of the top 2?”
The price tag is the reason why. Even though it offers more in comparison to what the market currently offers, that price tag is for sure a turn off. And we’re not the first people to complain about it. Just go ask any user out there.
The Mueller Speed Shot Rifle Scope’s standout feature is definitely its illumination system. In addition to the usual, it also offers an 11-dot brightness setting, and comes with a bright 4 MOA reticle that’s distinctly visible even in the brightest of days. That’s one way of saying that even though this scope is designed for all and sundry, users with vision problems are the target audience.
“Are the power cells durable?”
From what we’ve gathered, it does. We just didn’t stick around long enough to find out because we realized you could still operate that bright 4 MOA dot reticle without illumination. Of course, that’s if you don’t have any visual impairments.
“How sturdy is its construction?”
You’re obviously worried about those accidental bumps that could tamper with the system, right? Well, you shouldn’t be. Mueller knows the real world is not the same as a control laboratory environment. So, it will never release a product into the market without testing it.
They assured us that this optic is not just shockproof, but also for proof and resistant to water. And if you don’t believe them, believe us. Because our team already took it on a test run and found that rugged durable material to be reliable.
What’s with the 30mm matte tube? They felt the only way they could guarantee that users don’t feel inconvenienced in any way was to provide them with an option that allows them to utilize different types of scope rings.
“What about image clarity?”
We knew this question was going to pop up sooner or later. And we’re glad you asked, taking into account the fact that it’s also a lauded feature here. The objective lens diameter is not as big as the one designed with the Burris Veracity 4-20x50mm Rifle Scope, but they found a way to make certain that the images being created aren’t blurry.
Some users think the multicoated lenses should be credited for that, and we agree. These lenses have properties that significantly contribute to the type of image produced by an optic.
Over the years, Mueller has managed to release incredible iterations into the market. However, in our opinion, we think the Speed Shot Rifle Scope is the fastest when it comes to target acquisition. It features a fast-focus eyepiece that’s super-efficient when it comes to lining up targets.
The level of accuracy provided is also unparalleled. With the help of an audible click, you can effortlessly adjust the ½ MOA windage and elevation turrets designed to provide exceptional accuracy in any condition and/or height.
What’s the one thing we didn’t like about the scope? The objective lens’ diameter. We like working with larger lenses but that’s an exaggeration. Kind of makes the thing look bulky.
The Helos BTR 1-4.5×24 Rifle Scope has some cool features as well. Talk about the Precision Zero Stop System, for example. Assuming you’re trying to make adjustments in the dark, this system will help you lock in your zero position comfortably. You’ll also be able to quickly dial back to it, should you feel the need to.
Mark you, that’s not even the best part. It again ensures that you get to your zero mark in a sharp and precise fashion.
The Revolution Lock System feature is more or less like the Precision Zero Stop system, save for the fact that it makes everything that we’ve explained possible with one rotational turn. And no, that doesn’t make the Precision Zero System redundant, if that’s what you’re thinking.
It’s designed to reduce the number of adjustments within a single rotation, so as to put an end to the second-guessing game that users often experience after a dial up. In plain English, you’ll always know for sure the total number of turns made.
Using 6061T6 aircraft grade aluminum as the construction material was undoubtedly a good idea. It’s the reason why the tube has time and time again exemplified superior mechanical integrity. The kind of trait that you’ll want to see in an optic that can be relied on.
But it doesn’t just draw its strength from the 6061T6 aircraft grade aluminum alone, as we’ve come to learn. The Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5×24 Riflescope happens to be a heat-treated one-piece tube. One-piece tubes are known for two things: One, they keep out moisture, thereby ensuring the scope remains fog proof. And Two, compared to multi-piece tubes, they do offer extra strength.
Its complex Etched Glass Reticle design has a higher resistance to recoil. If you’re keen enough, you’ll notice it’s always on the target regardless of how heavy that rearward thrust is. Also, it’s more durable than the traditional reticle.
Will the system be compromised, if you inadvertently submerge it in water? No. The large, dry nitrogen molecules will help it purge moisture that might affect your lenses or thermal stability.
And while we’re on this subject of lenses, you need to know the Athlon Optics Helos BTR 1-4.5×24 Riflescope also has multi coated lenses. We just didn’t talk about them at the beginning because the features mentioned above are unique to this particular scope.
But that’s not to say that its multicoated lenses aren’t as effective as all the other ones that we’ve talked about in the first four reviews. By facilitating the efficient transmission of light, they too assist in the creation of crispy images.
Was the scope 100% perfect? No. Adjusting for parallax presented itself as a problem since the knob was too stiff.
So, what do you think? Do you believe these scopes have what it takes to help you improve your marksmanship? If the answer is yes, our first recommendation is the Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope. But if you have deeper pockets, go for our premium choice, which is the Burris Veracity 4-20x50mm Rifle Scope. The Sniper NT1-4X28 Scope is our second pick because it offers value for money.
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Featured Image Credit: Jacopo Werther, Wikimedia
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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